Blowin’ more Smoke
It has continued to bother me the amount of attention needed in my first smoked liquor experiments. But still wanting to create a fool proof method, I started rethinking this process. So here are 2 other, quicker and easier ways to infuse smoke.
Hookah Smoke: Fill the basin with desired liquor. Light a cigar and place it against the bowl. Draw the cigar smoke through the pipe. It only takes a few draws to add a light smoky flavor to the alcohol. I cannot take credit for this idea (it was found on another molecular mixology sight, and sadly had no name attached to it). If anyone know who came up with this please let me know.
Cold Smoke. Cold smoking is a process where food (or in this case liquor) is exposed to smoke without raising the temperature of the item over 100 degrees F. It is primarily used to flavor delicate fish and cheese. I found a video on how to build an inexpensive cold smoker using a soldering iron and soke pellets. The smoke pellets are compressed sawdust which will burn at a low temperature (like incense). I bought mine from barbequewoods.com. They carry many flavors of smoke pellets like maple, peach, oak, apple and cherry just to name a few. And any good hardware store stocks soldering irons.
Couple of thoughts can to me as I did this:
Smoking “accent” liquors or flavorings such as curacaos or syrups leads to more veratility in use.
The cold smoke method also works well on fruits in that the juice will not evaporate in the hot smoking process. Depending on the fruit, all that needs to be done afterwards is to juice or puree the fruit.
So whether you want a little cigar smoke in your scotch or cherry smoke in your vermouth for your Manhattan, these two methods for smoke infusion should porve to do you well.
Smoked Maple Julep
3 oz Apple smoked Brandy
1 oz Maple Syrup (equal parts maple syrup and water)
6 mint leaves
Muddle syrup and mint in the bottom of an old fashioned glass or silver julep cup. Add crushed ice and brandy. Stir to combine. Garnish with more mint and a short straw.